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Comment: Re:Yay big government! (Score 1) 310

Business does have the power to drop an enormous lawsuit on you and force you to wipe out your life savings trying to defend yourself, and if a judgment is obtained due their immense advantage in resources, they can attach your salary and assets for life.

They also have the power to put false information of your credit history, which is virtually impossible to expunge, and thus ruin your ability to buy a home, or a car, or a loan for any other worthy purpose, or even rent an apartment and even to deny you a job (since prospective employers invariably run credit checks).

Other than that, no power to ruin your life at all.

Comment: Re:This does not disprove Sasquatch (Score 1) 198

True, it does not disprove Sasquatch - but it also does nothing to support it.

And on that "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" thing, that is in fact an informal fallacy. Absence of evidence (if you have actively been seeking to collect evidence with tools capable of doing so) absolutely is evidence, but not "proof", of absence in every branch of science.

If you go to a doctor and get a biopsy looking for cancer, and no cells are found, that is absolutely a valid indicator that cancer of they type being screened for, is not present (though the tests can fail sometimes to detect it when it is).

Environmental DNA/RNA sampling is a very powerful technique to detect the presence of species that are difficult to observe. Almost any physical remain left by an animal, even extremely small samples (feces, blood, saliva, hair, skin, tooth, nail, etc.) will allow detection of its DNA to be matched against libraries to determine its phylogenetic grouping, and species identity if known.

If over a reasonable amount of time no one can produce a sample bearing the DNA of a novel creature, then it cannot reasonably be supposed to exist.

Comment: Re:Wind chill on a space suit? (Score 1) 110

by crunchygranola (#47213789) Attached to: There's No Wind Chill On Mars

Wind chill works because of evaporation on the skin, right?

Wrong. The phenomenon know as "windchill", and is represented by "windchill factors" and such, has nothing to do with evaporation. It is the effect of forced convection on heat removal, the windchill tables were generated by examining the removal of heat from a dry cylinder. Evaporative cooling is an entirely separate phenomenon.

I don't think anyone is going to be walking around on Mars outside a biosphere, in a T-shirt. If you're wearing a space suit, wind chill is totally irrelevant or am I missing something?

Does your space suit need to only provide pressurized air, or must it be a parka too? This is an important question for designing and wearing the darned things.

According to the actual paper (TFP) on Mars (at -60 C) the subjective temperature in still air is equivalent to only -8 C on Earth. This is because the air is too thin to remove much heat, wind or no. BTW -- "still air" is actually only an ideal limiting case of windchill, when air speed is zero and you are yourself are not moving. Genuine still air is a very rare in the open in nature.

It looks like Mars is something like a happy medium in terms of air pressure for a really, really cold place. In a hard vacuum the loss of heat from your body through radiation alone is a problem, getting rid of the heat your body and equipment produce is a problem in orbit. On Mars the air is thin enough that it has limited ability to remove heat, enough to prevent over-heating, but not too much. Space suits use evaporating water to dump heat form the suit.

Comment: Re:But... (Score 1) 490

Asks the German citizens who were told to register their firearms, but not to worry at all about the government ever showing up to collect them. Then the government showed up to collect them....

Now if only this were true rather than what it is - a lie.

Hitler actually relaxed gun laws, making them much easier to get.

Comment: Re:so apple and samsung should just research it al (Score 1) 131


Along with the actual definition of "rent-seeking". Rent-seeking is when one spends wealth on lobbying to increase their share of some limited resource, without creating anything of value in return. The closest the term comes to patents is when a patent troll buys patents to increase its chances of winning a lawsuit, but even that's a stretch, because the purchase isn't lobbying. ....

Despite the poorly written lead-in sentence to that Wikipedia article, "rent seeking" is not limited to political lobbying, that is merely a common example of rent-seeking. Regulatory capture, in which regulators expect to be rewarded by industry after they leave their regulatory role is rent-seeking via quid-pro-quo, not lobbying, for example. It is the act of obtaining wealth by gaining control of a limited resource, not through productive activity, is rent-seeking, no matter how it is carried out, so yes, patent troll portfolios are rent-seeking without being any king of stretch.

Comment: Re:Very true and that makes people uncomfortable (Score 1) 772

by crunchygranola (#47112491) Attached to: Belief In Evolution Doesn't Measure Science Literacy

... I can walk outside and prove gravity. I cannot do the same with evolution.

In what sense would you have 'proved' gravity by walking outside? Did you "prove" Newton's law of universal gravitation? Unless you did some rather difficult to perform experiments when you walked outside then you did not. You could just as easily assert (with equal validiity) that you proved Aristotle's ideas that it was just the natural behavior of stuff to move toward the center of the Earth (with no equations providing any predictive value).

Proving evolution these days is really quite easy. The evidence is truly vast, all you have to do is look at the immense amounts of genomic data about the whole "tree of life". The systematic changes in genes as you move down through the phylogenetic tree proves evolution at a level of probability far exceeding any physical theory (indeed, no physical theory is ever likely to come close.).

Comment: Re:Wait a sec (Score 1) 772

by crunchygranola (#47112301) Attached to: Belief In Evolution Doesn't Measure Science Literacy

Your reply is a pointless cop-out. I'm not talking about one species versus another, or the totality of changes. I'm talking about specific, undisputed, relatively disadvantageous mutations, that never-the-less get passed-on and cascade through populations. A fact which invalidates your previous assertion about "based on fitness/utility" being a "fact".

To continue this conversation you really, really need to give at least one example of this "fact" you claim exists, otherwise it cannot be usefully discussed.

I notice the appearance of the word "relatively" now linked to "disadvantageous mutations". What do you mean by that?

Notice that the citation of "sickle cell anemia" above (and other cases of genetic diseases due to having two copies of a gene that confers advantage when present only once) do not support your claim at all. They are advantageous on average, and thus spread until an equilibrium is achieved (if such an equilibrium exists). Similarly harmful genes that only show up after reproduction ceases can spread through random drift since there is no selection mechanism removing them.

Comment: Re:The Gestapo owns the tubes now (Score 2) 304

by crunchygranola (#47052941) Attached to: Why Lavabit Shut Down

When lambasting the ignorant masses, you should at least try to use proper English.

Ceded, not seeded you dumb fuck.

Actually the use of "seeded" makes perfectly good sense, and is in fact a very evocative phrasing - that the control will continue to grow and spread as the 'seed' sprouts and reseeds among the sociopaths.

You, though, are quite a nasty jerk.

Comment: Re:I'd not trust the authors too much. (Score 1) 280

The article you cite seems rather crude and out of date, considering there are now various in depth design studies of reactors (and not just tokamaks) that carefully account for the amount of lithium needed and the rate of tritium production. That is now a large part of what such design studies work towards understanding and improving (it is obviously not a trivial problem).

True - but it showcases the underlying problem rather well. Do you have links to any of those studies of actual blanket costs and performance?

And the process does involve excess neutrons. If the blanket is made of litium-7, the reaction that produces a tritium releases another neutron. This can be helped by D-D reactions too, which while not useful by themselves for producing a net gain in power compared to the easy of the D-T reaction, you still get neutrons out of various deuterium only machines today. This allows designs that have projected 5-20% excess production of tritium.

No, the tritium fusion process does not produce excess neutrons exactly as I said, and yes, as I said, there are reactions that cause neutron multiplication (I did not treat this at length though, I just mentioned the best multiplier known). The multiplication in lithium is not large, and it is not clear that it can cover all the losses and end up with breeding break-even. I note that recent EFDA's (the European fusion consortium) recent press releases on the subject merely claim that they believe the problem to be "soluble". This PPPL study from 2010 estimates a net breeding ratio of exactly 1.0, which means fusion plants will require fission plants to breed their start-up tritium inventory.

Comment: Re:In a century... (Score 4, Informative) 784

by crunchygranola (#46985429) Attached to: Scientists Warn of Rising Oceans As Antarctic Ice Melts

For your information, "Clinton's surplus" was because of Republican Congress that didn't let him spend much money. It also was only possible because of the DotCom Bubble of the 1990s. Once that burst during Clinton's final year in office, the surplus vanished.

Now if your post had contained actual information, instead of made-up stuff.

CBO analysis shows that despite all the economic events that transpired after Bush's election, the U.S. Federal Budget would have remained in surplus (more than a trillion dollars) right up until the time of the Bush economic meltdown that began in 2007.

Legislative changes - the bills the Republicans passed and Bush signed - spent the entire surplus, and trillions more.

Are you having fun yet?